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Dozens Detained At Moscow Opposition Gathering

Moscow riot police detain rights activist Lev Ponomarev.

Moscow riot police detain rights activist Lev Ponomarev.

Dozens of activists were detained at an opposition gathering in downtown Moscow, RFE/RL’s Russian Service reports.

The activists were taking part in a March of Dissent on August 31 in the capital’s Triumfal’naya square. The rally had not been sanctioned by city authorities.

Those detained include Eduard Limonov, one of the leaders of the Other Russia coalition group that organized the gathering.

Our correspondent says the square was surrounded by OMON special police forces who detained activists as soon as they exited the nearby metro station.

Prominent Russian rights activist Lev Ponomarev, the leader of the For Human Rights movement, was also briefly detained.

A member of Other Russia's executive committee, Aleksandr Averin, told RFE/RL that city authorities had recommended moving the rally to another site but that the coalition declined.

Limonov said earlier the aim of the gathering was to remind authorities about Article 31 of the Russian Constitution, which gives all citizens the right to hold mass gatherings and assemblies.